In October 2009, after receiving abnormal blood tests and noticing enlarged lymph nodes, Dr Larry Saltzman (“Dr Larry”), diagnosed himself with lymphoma. Afraid to receive confirmation of his diagnosis, Dr. Larry kept the information to himself, not even sharing the news with his wife, until his annual physical. On January 8, 2010, it was confirmed - he had an atypical form of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Small Cell Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL). The prognosis was poor and included an estimated 8-year survival rate. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Dr. Larry built a successful family practice, inclusive of midwifery and preventative medicine. He founded a healthcare IT company that helped to streamline the medical billing process. And since turning 50, completed 17 full marathons, including the 2013 Boston Marathon where he experienced first-hand the horrific Boston bombings. Even with all these accomplishments, Dr. Larry faced his biggest challenge yet – survival. His journey with CLL has been a long one, and includes: • 6-months of chemotherapy, • three relapses, • removal of the right side of his colon due to obstruction from enlarged lymph nodes, participation in two clinical trials, one for a new oral medication and one for revolutionary CAR T therapy. Currently in remission, Dr Larry has found success with a unique combination of oral medications taken on a daily basis. Dr. Larry‘s story does not end there. Unable to practice medicine due to his illness, he now dedicates his time to helping other patients and their caregivers. Working in partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, he currently leads an initiative to build a national registry of blood cancer patients, with the goal of uncovering patterns of care that can help to deliver better treatment options with less side effects. This program also includes its own social network – The LLS Community. Subscribed to by thousands of members, it promises access to clinical research and improvement in the daily lives of patients and caregivers seeking answers, support, sharing wisdom and driving change. Leveraging his experience as a patient and a physician, Dr. Larry continues to fight to support patients and caregivers. His work is nationally recognized and led to his participation in Vice President Joe Biden’s, Moonshot Program to cure cancer, as well as his being interviewed by numerous medical publications. Truly a driver of change, Dr. Larry is focused on facilitating innovation in drug development. When we think about how conservative the pharmaceutical industry needs to be – it’s surprising to hear how disruptive technologies, like social media, are making an impact. Connecting patients and research like never before, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter have become vehicles that help to drive education, awareness and accessibility to break-through therapies that can save patients’ lives. Dr. Larry sees the value of these channels every day and looks forward to expanding the use of social media to help reduce drug development costs and timelines with the goal of getting better treatment options to market faster.
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.